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NZ businesses finally ready for cybersecurity upgrade

20 Mar 2018

Cyber risk is high on the agenda for many New Zealand businesses, however, few are highly confident in understanding or responding to a cyber incident nor comprehend the risks their suppliers pose.

This is according to a new global survey conducted by Microsoft and Marsh, a provider of insurance broking and risk management solutions.

While 60% of the survey’s New Zealand respondents said that cyber incidents were in their top five risks, only 22% said they were highly confident in managing, responding and recovering from a cyber incident and 35% in understanding and assessing their cyber risks.

43% of respondents did not assess the cyber risks of their vendors or suppliers and 20% did not know if they were even exposed to any risks from their supply chain.

“Cyber risk is a topic that has been talked about for some time given our increasing dependence on technology,” says Marsh head of specialities Fred Boles.

“It is therefore surprising that many organisations are still unaware what their cyber risks are including the risks that suppliers pose.”

In regards to the scenarios that would create the greatest impact on NZ organisations, 80% of those surveyed said business interruption and 75% said reputational damage.

In relation to cyber attacks that deliver destructive malware, people were most concerned about financially motivated threats, such as organised crime, and human error, such as the loss of an employee mobile device.

The costs of such incidents can be huge - the World Economic Forum estimates the economic loss of cyber incidents is between US$1.5 and four trillion a year.

Only 33% of respondents in NZ had developed a cyber incident response plan in the last 12 to 24 months.

Of those who didn’t have a plan in place, 32% were unsure as to why this was the case.

“As with any major business risks, preparedness is the key to managing them,” says Boles.

“Organisations can more effectively manage cyber risk by applying a holistic, comprehensive approach that emphasises proven security practices, such as updating systems regularly, along with other preventative measures including planning that engages key stakeholders.”

The Global Cyber Risk Perception Survey had more than 1,300 executive responses coming from 26 industries.

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